When some corps members serving in Nasarawa state turned up for a meeting at the Lafia local government secretariat on Wednesday, June 19, most of them were prepared for a showdown with authorities of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC.
Shortly after they gathered outside the NYSC zonal office, they had received an annoying notice of yet another mandatory levy which would be deducted from that month's allowances.
The NYSC coordinator in the council area had told the furious corps members that they were required, mandatorily, to contribute yet another part of their allowance to fund the building of an office for the NYSC in the area.
The corps members in Nasarawa were enraged by the notice because earlier in the year, in February, they had been extorted of N500 each for the same project.
They are among the over one hundred thousand graduates that struggle through the NYSC scheme annually, with parts of their meagre allowances pilfered by officials of the NYSC, a government body established in 1973, to inculcate the culture of service, volunteerism and national unity into young graduates.
Although the corps was established to manage the welfare of graduates serving the scheme, it has ironically developed micro strategies to plunder corps members or aid other individuals and corporate bodies do same.
Usually, most of the pilfering schemes are designed as voluntary contribution, but the actual implementation does not allow free will to choose not to donate.
Corps members are threatened and cajoled to pay up. Defaulting corps members are sometimes punished with denial/delay of monthly allowance or extension of service year.
NYSC Foundation Slush fund
The National Youth Service Corps Foundation (NYSC Foundation), a non-governmental organization (NGO) established by ex-corps members in 1998, is one of the most sophisticated schemes used to plunder corps members.
The NYSC Foundation said it exists to reduce unemployment by empowering ex-corps members. It has ex-director generals and staff of the NYSC as its board members and directors.
The Industrial Energy Company Ltd in association with Industrial and General Insurance Plc, IGI, initiated the formation of the NYSC Foundation.
Source ; Tribune News .